Mayor Lee Proposes Citywide Ban On Extra-Lethal Hollow Point Ammunition & New Notifications


Hollow-Point Ammunition Designed for Law Enforcement, Already Illegal to Purchase in San Francisco, Would Be Illegal to Possess Under New Laws; Announces School Safety Training for SFPD Officers

Today Mayor Edwin M. Lee joined by Supervisor Malia Cohen and Police Chief Greg Suhr announced proposed new laws to make it illegal for civilians in San Francisco to possess certain types of particularly dangerous hollow point ammunition, bullets specifically designed for use by law enforcement, but commercially available for legal purchase. Mayor Lee also announced a proposed ordinance to require automatic notification to police when a person in San Francisco purchases 500 rounds or more of any type of ammunition in one transaction.

The proposed new San Francisco laws will complement anticipated State and Federal gun control legislative efforts. Mayor Lee strongly supports U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s efforts to restrict weapons of war on America’s streets and will support legislative proposals on gun control anticipated in 2013 at the state level.

“The tragic mass-murder in Connecticut broke the heart of the nation, and now is the moment to take aggressive action against the most egregious types of hollow-point ammunition,” said Mayor Lee. “These bullets do not belong in the hands of civilians, and we want to make possession of them illegal. We also need to create an early warning system to alert us when individuals make a massive purchase of ammunition, because we must do everything we possibly can to prevent another tragedy. I strongly support Federal and State efforts to enhance gun control laws, but in the meantime, we’re doing what we can locally to get the most offensive types of ammunition off of our streets.”

“All of us wept with the parents and families of Newtown Connecticut last week,” said Supervisor Malia Cohen. “But the legislation and police efforts we announced today are about much more than the tragic incident that occurred last week, it is also about the senseless violence that is occurring in our neighborhoods here in San Francisco. As a City we must use every legislative and executive power available to us to continue to address the causes and impacts of senseless gun violence occurring in our neighborhoods, and I believe that these two pieces of legislation are a strong step forward in this effort.”

The San Francisco Police Department, under the leadership of Chief Suhr, also announced plans to train all new Academy recruits in the tactics of school safety. Every current officer in the department will undergo retraining in similar tactical skills. Chief Suhr also announced another gun buyback event after the success of this weekend’s event.

“The reduction of violent crime in San Francisco remains our #1 priority,” said Police Chief Greg Suhr. “Obviously, our work with children demonstrates our commitment to keep San Francisco safe for them. We appreciate the efforts of our elected officials, particularly Senator Feinstein and Mayor Lee for their work in banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines that have no place in today’s civilized society.”

“At San Francisco General Hospital, the City’s only trauma center, we treated 381 gunshot victims in 2007 and 182 last year,” said Dr. Andre Campbell, a surgeon at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.  “While this is a significant drop, I would submit to you that one is too many.”

The City recently defeated the National Rifle Association’s motion for a preliminary injunction to stop San Francisco from enforcing its laws requiring safe storage of handguns in the home and prohibiting the sale of hollow-point ammunition.  The district court found that municipal safe-storage laws and bans against the purchase of “enhanced-lethality ammunition” did not violate the Second Amendment and therefore remained valid. These new proposed laws against possession hinge on the same legal concept that certain kinds of ammunition, manufactured and marketed for law enforcement, do not belong in the hands of the public.

Earlier this week, more than 750 mayors from across the country, led by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, sent a letter to the President and Congress calling for comprehensive gun control reform, including three specific strategies: requiring every gun buyer to pass a criminal background check, getting high capacity rifles and ammunition magazines off our streets, and making gun trafficking a federal crime. Mayor Lee was a signatory on that letter. 

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